Sunday, February 28, 2010

Downtown Street Party, Olympic Hockey Gold Fever

Riding across town at 5pm today was amazing. Thousands of jubilant Canadians filled the streets to cheer and hoot and holler and high-five and wave flags, celebrating Canada's win over the USA Men's Olympic Hockey team. Canada's record-setting 14th Gold Medal! It was an awesome experience:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Klaus Kaczor, YouTube "budoracle" Arrested for Marijuana Drug Store

This marijuana story is pretty "out there,", even by Vancouver standards. A man rented a store and openly sold marijuana and other drugs while at the same time taunting the Vancouver Police Department in a YouTube video:
"Listen assholes, either come in here or fuck right off!"
The Vancouver Police Department chose option #1:

Feb. 17 YouTube video by budoracle, now in police custody pending drug charges.

Monday, February 22, 2010

School Issued Laptops Spy on Students, Families at Home

Teacher spies on student using webcam. photo: bulletproofcourier

With the growing popularity of school-issued laptop computers, parents of students should beware:
The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that a Pennsylvania school official remotely monitored a student at home.

The family accused an assistant principal at Harriton High School of watching their son through his laptop's webcam while he was at home and unaware he was being watched. The family also says the school official used a photo taken on a laptop as the basis for disciplining the student...[]
A recent PBS documentary foreshadowed this danger when they interviewed this creep, unrelated to the lawsuit:

Clip from part 4 of PBS Frontline's Digital Nation. Ass't school principal: "I like to mess with them and take their picture."

Read the complete lawsuit here. See the student and his lawyer speak to NBC news here.

Now is the time for concerned Canadian parents to raise this item with teachers and school administrators, before it happens to their own children.

This issue is not confined to school-issued laptops only. Software is also a concern. When families download and install school district learning programs onto home computers, what guarantee of privacy do they have?

New law coming soon, hopefully: The Student Cyber Protection Act

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Simpsons Visit the Vancouver Winter Olympics

Recently on TV, The Simpsons visited my city for a 2010 Winter Olympic satire of Canadian culture:

Vancouver. Come for the film tax credits. Stay for the marijuana.

Canadian lumberjack climbs Olympic cauldron, lights it

Olympic angel volunteers throw beavers into the air

Homer and Marge win Gold in Curling, despite obvious setbacks

"Take that, Sweden! Tell me how my ice tastes."

"Go Canada Go!"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vancouver Police Shut Down Liquor Stores 4 Hours Early

VPD sphincters remain squeezed tight after 150,000 people partied drunk in downtown Vancouver last night.

Sign on door of BC liquor store at 1716 Robson. photo: bulletproofcourier

Private retailers are also subject to the forced closing. A phone call to the Dover Arms pub - which operates an adjacent beer & wine store on Denman street - yielded this explanation:
"The cops and liquor inspectors came in and closed the store, apparently because of something that happened downtown last night. They told us they're shuttering all downtown liquor outlets at 7pm. The cops are outside right now. They're fucking assholes."
This strategy is expected to work tonight only. Tomorrow, people will be aware they must stockpile their booze before 7pm. Or buy from a bootlegging entrepreneur out selling bottles past kids' bedtime.

Vancouver police and Olympic security will also be stepping up street patrols as crowds get boozier to "keep lid on Olympic party."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Absurd Trials of Geert Wilders and Guy Earle

Recommended reading for all Canadians in today's Macleans Magazine:

The Absurd Trial of Geert Wilders

I'm glad things like this don't happen in Canad - oh wait, they do. Right here in Vancouver, on Monday March 29, 2010, the Canadian government is putting a stand-up comedian on trial for offending two hecklers who were disrupting his show.

The Absurd Trial of Guy Earle

I'll be sticking to the absurd Lorna Pardy vs. Guy Earle BCHRT trial like white on rice. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dubai Assassination Plot Worthy of Tom Clancy Novel

+ =

News from Dubai usually consists of stories about the oppression of women under Islam, the local economic meltdown, and young Arab men posting YouTube videos of car stunts for lack of girlfriends.

However, now jumping from the pages of a likely Tom Clancy novel, authorities in Dubai have released video and photos of an alleged 11 member hit-team accused of killing Hamas terrorist group leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh during his clandestine stay at the Al Bustan Rutana Hotel:

It's not yet known who commanded the plot. The evidence trail is littered with false documents, stolen identities, mysterious technology, disguised persons and biases among international investigators and analysts.

Worth noting is that no one disputes the fact that Hamas leader al-Mabhouh reaped what he sowed.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Anti-Vaccine Movement Discredited, Ridiculed

The anti-vaccine movement recently suffered a double shot to the stomach. Ouch!

1) Original study linking autism and vaccinations retracted

From the Globe and Mail:
The Lancet issued a formal retraction denouncing a 1998 study led by British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield that linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccination with the onset of symptoms associated with autism.

“It's very clear that many statements in that paper are either dishonest or utterly misleading and so we were really very pleased we could retract the paper now,” Lancet editor Richard Horton said...

2) Desiree Jennings Tomfoolery Exposed

Anti-vaccination celebrities and spokespeople are feeling buyer's remorse after focusing national media attention on Desiree Jennings, only to have her exposed as a monkeyshiner. In this new video, she's now claiming the flu vaccine gave her an Australian accent.

What nonsense! Childhood diseases once mostly eradicated are making a comeback. And children are dying.

Happy Valentines Day From Vancouver

Here's a pair of cuties from my town, 2007:

Also, please spare a thought for otters in certain other countries where this behavior is not tolerated.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

CHRT Smacks Elections Canada Over Polling Station Access

Toronto man Peter Hughes has won a human rights complaint against Elections Canada after crawling down a flight of stairs to cast his vote two years ago.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal expressed concern about Mr. Hughes' humiliating voting experience and ruled that Elections Canada shall:
"...not have any polling stations in any electoral district in Canada that do not have barrier-free access"...
Hopefully Canada will move silently past this embarrassing oversight. There's no way we can proudly announce:

"Elections Canada - Giving access to ALL disabled voters since 2010!"

Olympic Scofflaws Break the Law

We all hoped everyone would follow the law, but the unfortunate events of today have left VANOC dealing with a worst-case scenario. Yes, it's happened: The Olympic Opening Ceremonies have been pirated on the internet.

Found using Google: download the Olympic Opening Ceremonies

From an interesting article today on Torrentfreak:
Most of the downloaders are from host country Canada...

It is expected that the International Olympic Committee will be outraged over this massive rights violation. In 2008 they urged Sweden to take action against the Pirate Bay over the Olympic torrents that they hosted, without result...
It seems you can't use a piece of tape to cover the Internet, leaving many Canadians cheering "Go Canada Go Download!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Protesters, Police Manage Peaceful Rally

Some 2000 protesters marched through the streets of Vancouver and stood toe-to-toe with a human barricade of police bodies and mounted officers at the BC Place perimeter. An egg was thrown, some traffic pylons were pushed overhead into police lines and several wooden poles were yanked out of protesters' hands up front. Police officers did not react with force. Some pushing and posturing ensued between protesters and police on the front lines, but the crowd began to disperse after a few hours.

This was an exciting event to cover as a citizen journalist. I shot a couple hours video, stay tuned for my YouTube highlight reel.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics Open For Business

Go Canada Go!

I live in downtown Vancouver so I'll be cycling around with my cameras, filming videos around the city - boots on the ground type of stuff - hopefully just as exciting and unique as this tidbit I shot in 2008! (.)(.)

I look forward to sharing my Olympic experiences as a host city citizen. There are so many exciting things going on here in Vancouver right now, I wish could be everywhere at once. Stay tuned for more going forward!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tamara Taggert Twitters Clipper Confiscation

CTV celebrity Tamara Taggert yesterday posted a Twitter message about BC Place Olympic security confiscating her nail clippers:


Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Really Warm in Vancouver

click photo to remove blanket

...war of the poses continues...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Raytec Raymax Infrared CCTV Guards 2010 Olympic Venues, Streets at Night

Raytec Raymax infra-red CCTV cameras are standing guard tonight over 2010 Olympic venues and public streets in Vancouver and Whistler:

This is a wonderful technology with a variety of implications.

Property and assets are protected from criminals who might otherwise operate under cover of dark. That's good:
Infrared Camera Catches Burglary Suspect
Camera operators will abuse the system and post internet videos of regular people doing things in the dark while they think they have privacy. That's bad:
"It appears to be fornication in a convertible."
Large installations can maintain fence-line security at night without bathing their perimeter in light, sparing nuisance to neighbors while saving energy. That's good:
Prison Perimeter Light Pollution - Springfield, VT
The government unchecked could create a 24-hour Orwellian surveillance society where four million cameras are watching the population - one for every 14 people. That's bad:
Now a reality in Britain
Stay tuned for more. It's great that here in Canada we are free to debate issues like this.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vancouver Drivers Caught Flaunting New Cellphone Law

The drivers I caught on video yesterday seem undeterred by the new $167 fine...

...The third clip is my favorite, when the man spots me filming and smiles sheepishly, pulling the phone away from his ear.

The next man, texting into his lap, is a good example of why this law is needed: I'm standing in the street beside his window, moving around, pointing a camera directly at him - everything short of lighting my hair on fire - but he remains oblivious and distracted. Until he puts down the phone. (As the young folks say, PWNED!)

This was a fun project I'll be repeating soon. I'm glad I live in Canada where we have the freedom to do things like this.

Stay tuned for another video like this next week.